Public Wifi

Thomas Gilham

Best VPN for Public Wifi
Try Out These Ten VPNs If you Use the Internet in a Public Location

Whether you’re in an airport or outdoor public setting such as a park, chances are high of you being in the range of a WiFi signal. Public WiFi is abundant and a great way to stay connected to the internet when you can’t use your own ISP. They are easy to connect, with many being free to the public. But public WiFi also comes with some security issues, most notably hackers using them to obtain the personal information of people who browse them. VPNs will help keep public information over such WiFi connections private, with paid services being the best. Detailed below are ten such VPNs to do this, having many that are outfitted with additional layers of security and encryption. To find out which one is good for your mobile or laptop, look no further. So without further delay, let’s get started!

Take Precautions When Using Public WiFi

Like any connection that opens you up to the internet, public WiFi has its ups and downs. There are lots to say that is good about them, and it allows people who would have no means of communication access to the internet. You have probably used them before in an airport terminal, coffee shop, restaurant, or a facility run by the government. Whichever the case may be, public internet is here to stay. With that being said, you should have some understanding of the dangers associated with such connections. Public WiFi and hotspots are a magnet for hackers due to how easy it is (or was) to obtain private information from people that has little security features on their hardware. Much of this loopholes can be opened via the way in which the signal connects to the computer, and the servers visited. Anything you do in a public hotspot is, as the name implies, public. A VPN will help to safeguard this in multiple ways which are explained next.

How a VPN can Protect You

A VPN is a network of servers that allow users to connect to the internet over a private server. This server is usually routed to a host (the VPN), then redirected to the website or content to which the users want to visit. They have been around for quite some time now but boomed in sales from better public awareness of the internet and browsing security. When you’re in a public location and wish to use WiFi that you usually don’t connect to, you should always have your wits about you when entering.

A VPN will encrypt everything that you do on the network, keeping other potential hackers from getting close to such thing as your credit card info, banking details, and location of your residence. Surprising to some, all of these details can be obtained if someone really, really wants to get it.

But a VPN is the best direct method for prevention and comparable to a good anti-malware. In fact, some VPNs have their own anti-malware built into the application itself. Others may use a firewall to shut down programs that you don’t want accessing the internet when you’re connected to a server.

How They Stack Up

CyberGhost: Uses Encryption: Yes; DNS/IP Leak Protection: Yes; Average Speed: 68 Mbps
ExpressVPN: Uses Encryption: Yes; DNS/IP Leak Protection: Yes; Average Speed: 70 Mbps
VyprVPN: Uses Encryption: Yes; DNS/IP Leak Protection: Yes; Average Speed: 65 Mbps
NordVPN: Uses Encryption: Yes; DNS/IP Leak Protection: Yes; Average Speed: 60 Mbps
Windscribe VPN: Uses Encryption: Yes; DNS/IP Leak Protection: Yes; Average Speed:67 Mbps
Ivacy: Uses Encryption: Yes; DNS/IP Leak Protection: Yes; Average Speed: 60 Mbps
Torguard: Uses Encryption: Yes; DNS/IP Leak Protection: Yes; Average Speed: 64 Mbps
TunnelBear VPN: Uses Encryption: Yes; DNS/IP Leak Protection: Yes; Average Speed: 61 Mbps
PureVPN: Uses Encryption: Yes; DNS/IP Leak Protection: Yes; Average Speed: 65 Mbps
IpVanish: Uses Encryption: Yes; DNS/IP Leak Protection: Yes;j Average Speed: 68 Mbps
Top 10 Best VPNs for Public WiFi

1. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a VPN that work in a way that seems like it was built for public WiFi hotspots. That’s because it fast and easy to access, taking no long amount of time to get you on a working server. It’s also well suited but business, and applications such as Google Document work quickly over the servers when connected. But if you’re looking for entertainment, then it’s even better. There’s Netflix, Hulu, and iPlayers support all rolled into one great VPN. And if that’s not enough, you get a true-to-word zero logging policy. You won’t have to stress yourself over worrying about what the company is taking from you in the process of guarding against hackers. Try out CyberGhost for swift connections and great download times.


It’s speed is great for public WiFi that has a good internet connection
Logging doesn’t occur at all and the company is trusted by their user base
Has a good amount of servers that can be used to watch Netflix or download from file sharing programs

Plans are affordable but the cheapest option requires users to buy the most expensive plan

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is another good server that is streamlined for public and private WiFi. If you’re in a secured location such as an airport, you will still be able to get online without any throttling by the public WiFi being used. And Netflix works well with nearly every server you’ll come across when using the VPN. There’s also a lot of widgets given with the application, which is mostly the same regardless of the operating system your using it on. The controls are also easy to navigate and find things, so there’s no need to worry about spending too much flipping through confusing menu options. Plan prices aren’t ExpressVPNs’ selling point, but the cost is certainly worth it when you see all the things the VPN can do.


Good interface design that’s streamlined for beginners but has enough controls for the more advanced to check out
Situated in a good location that isn’t within the area of a nation that has a campaign on mass surveillance (British Virgin Islands)
Loads of smaller features ensure that users remain protected in a public setting, the hacking risk is kept extremely low

Plans are often shown to be quite pricey
Not very many servers compared to the rest of the paid VPNs available
3. VyprVPN

VyprVPN is all about taking away the little things that bother VPN users the most, which are connection times, speed, and navigation through the menus. First, when you install the application onto your computer system, you’ll notice just how quickly it’ll get you into one of the thousands of servers provided by the network. You can also switch between servers really fast, and won’t have to scroll through the entire list just to find the one you use the most often. There’s also router support if you’re ever in need of more than the allotted servers that are provided by the VPN per account. Public WiFi aside, this is a good way to connect people if you’re home, especially if you have a large household. There’s aren’t any data leaks to report of, so try this one out if you’re unsure of what you want to pick.


Connecting to a server should take five seconds or less
Makes a great attempt to keep users information privacy, even when transferring payments
Can be used on a router if needed
Using in public or not, the VPN will not leak information to routers

Getting in touch with customer care could take a few days, especially on weekends
4. NordVPN

NordVPN is another tool that can be used in a public setting and has a lot going for it in the server quality department. If you like VPNs that deliver only the finish of everything, you should try this one out first. The program is featured of most operating systems, including but not limited to Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Chrome OS. You could also use it on a Linux distro if you have the alternative OS on your laptop. Logging is never in issues here, and the VPN is well in the lead of other deceptive free VPN choices. There are well over a thousand servers in total, with just about all of them having the ability to streaming your entertainment without slowing down on the account that you use. Torrenting is also possible; see if NordVPN is good for you if you’re keen on file sharing.


The application is readily available on most operating system platforms
Logging will never take place with the VPN, honest business practices
Has many servers, of which most of them will run Netflix and torrent sites

Plans are a bit more expensive than some other VPNs
The free trial period is short and requires that user payment details be obtained before beginning
5. Windscribe VPN

Windscribe can be downloaded on smartphones or tablets and PCs but doesn’t deviate from hardware to hardware. It has a good amount of servers and they generally perform well when handling tasks that require a good deal of ram and bandwidth. If you take it outside with you to access public WiFi, let it be known that you’re in good hands. You will never have an instance of your DNS address leaking, along with your normal IP. And don’t worry about tweaking anything in the setting at all. Windscribe has a very “pick up and play” feel to it, so setup is simple to do when you’re in a hurry to get the thing started. And this goes for the free or paid server. However, you’ll get more with a subscription that you will for free, the latter being capped to a set amount of usage per month. Look into Windscribe if you like VPNs for general web browsing and don’t mind the bland looking (but functional) interface.


Outstanding speeds that are recommended for public locations that have spotty signals and WiFi speed
The menu options are easy to read and learn without needing any help from the website
Safe to use as a free or paid VPN

The interface, while nice, doesn’t get updated very often
6. Ivacy

Ivacy is a good choice for public locations due to its usage of only one protocol. Yes, it has its own and allows the platform to keep their encryption secured in a way that makes it hard for hackers to determine what’s being used on a person’s computer. If you wanted something other than that, you would have to find another VPN to use. OpenVPN isn’t here, which is a fact that could be taken as a negative by people with a preference for the protocol. But one major redeeming factor is the costs. Plans are much cheaper than those shown thus far, and could even make you a long time customer. Ivacy routinely gets good praise over its lack of logging, but streaming could be a bit smoother. Choppy playback may occur, but don’t let it prevent you from seeing how it performs for yourself.


Good low cost payment plans at the monthly or yearly level
Has a kill switch feature that places a wall around programs that a user doesn’t want to run
Doesn’t log information the users that visit, even when signing on with multiple accounts

Streaming speed isn’t great at times, particularly when the connection is unstable (such as in a public location)
7. TorGuard

TorGuard is another major alternative VPN with outstanding speeds and good security features. There’s a lot here to be excited about, and it’s good for business and leisure time spent online. As for protocols, all the favorites are here, including OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP. There’s more, so take this is the only list of what’s given. As you connect to your public router of choice, the encryption that’s housed on the VPN will block all attempts of an adversary to steal what you send and receive.

Torrents can be downloaded without problems, and most files appear to work swiftly when connected. Magnets links redirect fast, but the connection can also be shut down quickly if you’re concerned about placing malicious software on your computer in the process. Yet getting into one of their many servers could take some time. If you’re the impatient type, this could go on for as long as 30 seconds to a minute when the signal isn’t strong. But there’s little else to report about TorGuard that’s negative. Test it with a free trial first, then pick it if things look well served.


Suitable for people that like to do work on public WiFi, doesn’t stall or crash
There are multiple protocols to choose from, both open source and private
Has good encryption with most protocols

Accessing a server may take about a minute when the connection isn’t fast
8. TunnelBear VPN

TunnelBear VPN has been around for what seemed a very long time. But while they’re certainly a great way to privatize your time spent on the web, that’s not the only thing that makes it such a worthwhile product. For one thing, there’s a good free and paid service that’s provided by the company. Compare the paid and free if you’re unsure about what to get, and you’ll likely pick the subscription-based plan instead. That’s not a put down to the freeware, but it may not perform to the standards of what you would expect from one that has monthly payment. Servers tend to fluctuate between great and good, but torrenting is where things really shine. The public ISP won’t lag the connection that you use even when there are lots of other people on the same router as you.


Great free and paid options for customers to try out
The free trial period can be extended if asked
Excellent server speeds when torrenting, even when in on public WiFi

Torrenting does work but some clients might be hard to access in certain servers outside of the US and EU

9. PureVPN

PureVPN is outstanding for its state of the art interface and acceptable speed levels. If you like to run speed tests on your VPNs when going into the trial period, you’ll find that it performs well for the price range. The kill switch will also prevent unwanted access from programs sending and receiving signals to your ISP, although you might now have that problem if you’re in a public setting for WiFi. If you also value how well customer service reacts to issues that come forth, you should also like PureVPN. They have a good chat system and tend to respond to emails in an acceptable time. But there is some basic logging the takes place by PureVPN when going into the application; the sign-in portion. It’s not enough to give away all your data, but the privacy-minded might not like such a thing.


Lightning fast speeds when streaming music and Netflix
Quick response time when interacting with customer service; fast turnaround time
The DNS leak feature is proven to be reliable when it matters

Logs user sign-ins but keep the info only for a short period of time

10. IpVanish

IpVansih comes last but isn’t definitely isn’t the lowest common denominator. Its Encryption goes well above to protect you from attacks when tunneling to different servers, utilizing 256-AES to its fullest potential. Server speeds are also good in places in the world that might restrict the access of VPNs with the majority of applications. You might even be to get on it in the Middle East, or some East Asian nations such as China. Payment options seem endless, so definitely do Bitcoin if you want to stay completely anonymous. You might also have additional payment choices that are exclusive to the region you live in. This makes IpVanish an excellent VPN for anyone that’s living away from the US or EU. And best of all, you’ll be able to get on Netflix or Pandora without any problems!


Encryption goes both ways, when accessing content or uploading data
Server speeds in regions other than the EU and US are fast as well
Makes no attempt to obtain the personal information of users with the service; no logging
Has a lot of different payment choices available

Video streaming isn’t guaranteed to work with ever server
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will a VPN completely block what I do Online over Public WiFi?

Not entirely. This would be ultimately determined by how you use the internet in a public space. If you’re careless with your personal information on certain websites visited, then you’ll open up Pandora’s Box to all sorts of nasty things. The worst of these is identity theft. But you should also be concerned about viruses and worms that could move through public routers. The best thing to do is to ensure that you’re running a good antivirus system on your computer and to make sure that it’s regularly updated.

If you’re using a smartphone to connect to a VPN in public, your method of connecting will at least be known by websites via your user agent. The user agent is basically the details about the browser you use for connecting over the internet. The user agent doesn’t give out details to your location and won’t reveal your IP. However, hackers can take advantage of knowing whether or not your running updated the software of your browser or an operating system from here. This could theoretically allow them to find Zero-Day exploits, either by the company not updating very often or you not doing it yourself. Be sure that you turn on automatic updates if you’re going to use the internet on a public WiFi router.

Will Free VPNs do the Same as Paid?

The quick answer is no. Free VPNs are much slower than paid services and don’t often perform very well without going down. If you watch Netflix or get on other streaming content with a free VPN, it’s likely that your service will be cut eventually. But to stay on topic with protections from malicious practices, free VPNs could actually harm your identity online as well. And while there are some that aren’t misleading and/or out to steal your personal info, you should be mindful when using one. It’s best that you stick to paid services and you’ll find that they’re much more dependable when it comes to security. You’re basically on your own when using VPN freeware in a public setting, or worse.

Does a VPN guard me against all Hacking Attempts?

Again, no. if someone really wished to get into your computer, you’ll probably find a way to do so. It won’t matter how much protection you use, although there are ways to eliminate the risk to near zero. When in public, always try to find a WiFi signal that you’re familiar with. You could also Google the name of the provider to check what others have said about the signal and whether it can be trusted.

Having gone over virus protections already, some VPNs may also prevent them from getting on your computer by blocking your access to certain websites altogether. This list of threat is constantly growing, so you’ll want to check and make sure that your computer is up to date and in good shape before you start. Hardware that already contains a virus could make it easier for hackers to target you when in public company with your internet. Don’t make the mistake of accessing personal information from computers that you don’t trust, and remember to keep the VPN only on those you use personally.

How Does Encryption work over a VPN?

Encryption is usually provided by VPN with AES-256. This can be anything from 8 bit to 16-bit encryption ciphers. It works by keeping the info that you sent to a server within the framework of an end-to-end shield, which blocks all incoming attempts to see the information. As a result, the only people that would have to see the data is the server you’re sending it to, and you. If someone were to try and break the encryption with a technique such as brute force, they would be met with an incomprehensible waiting period.

The higher the bit, the more keys a hacker would need in order for them to find out your cipher. 16 keys for a password means that it would literally take trillions of years for them to figure out the code to access your content. 256-AES was once exclusive to the US military but has become the standard encryption technique among governments since the early 2000s. VPNs using the feature only adds to their protection and capabilities to prevent hacks.

Do all VPNs Log in some Fashion?

One could make an argument that all VPNs do in fact log in some way. But this would also depend on how a user defines logging. If logging entails a company knowing when a person signed into their account for a short period of time, then even paid VPNs would be guilty. However, the realistic way to look at this is from the eyes of the company itself. What’s the best way for them to ensure that the people using the service aren’t taking advantage of it? How can they best obtain the information they need to make their VPN better? Much of these practices is the only reason why a paid VPN would practice some form of logging.

But under the right (or wrong) circumstances, this could potentially be used against you if the company i8s based in a country that’s known for conducting surveillance operations. VPN companies must follow the rule of law in the country where they are housed, and that means any data that’s obtained by them about a customer may theoretically be used to gather information about people. These are things to consider when you’re primary concern is privacy.

Are there any Website or Applications that should be Avoided When on a VPN in Public?

Absolutely. You’ll want to steer clear of really sensitive accounts on some servers. Most shouldn’t cause you to lose access or become hacked when on the public WiFi, but it would be best for you to wait until you have the ability to get on such content form your own ISP connection. But truthfully, you shouldn’t use sites such as anything that has to do with finance too often with a VPN, as the domain could end up blocking you from logging in altogether. You might even have run into public WiFi that didn’t allow you to visit streaming content. Some of this could be due to people abusing the system on the website, and the source blocking access. Or it could be from the provider themselves, taking away access to a place that is likely to be shut down in the first place.

Another category of website that you should avoid on public WiFi is some social media. You don’t have to avoid such places as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, but others like Linkedin. Anywhere that has too much personal info on your shouldn’t be browsed with public WiFi without some sort of VPN if you can. Again, no one would probably be able to pick up anything from you, but this is said as a precaution. There are surely people on such networks there for gathering info on the vulnerable and/or uninformed, so you have to be one step ahead and know what and what not to access in a public WiFi space.

Furthermore, remember that our smartphone is often a prime target for hackers, as they know that many people use them as a primary way to get online outside of the home. And there are older computers too, which may have holes to exploit simply from their age, particularly if the user isn’t running newer software. And finally, always be on the lookout for phishing content, which could be housed in the startup page of the WiFi signal that you link your hardware to. Read the https protocol in the URL, remembering that fake sites might appear different but in a nuanced way that’s hard to detect. Keep your guard up, and you won’t be a victim of any hacking attempts!


It’s hopeful that you obtain or learned something new from going over the list of all the great VPNs that are shown in the reviews. Choosing one doesn’t have to be a difficult task; there’s a really easy way to do so if you’re not sold yet. Just start a free trial with one of the providers, going through the menu options and testing things like speed from the various speed test sites on the net. You’ll probably settle with the one that you pick fist, but there’s always more that you can come back to in case of dissatisfaction. To summarize, these VPNs will boost your security to a great amount in a public location. it might just be the key component to keeping your identification safe!